New federal budget: Just For Laughs all smiles with this step forward for culture and major events

    MONTREAL, Jan. 28 /CNW Telbec/ - Just For Laughs says a major step
forward has just been taken with the federal budget introduced in Parliament
yesterday by Finance Minister, The Honourable Jim Flaherty. The new budget
provides new investments of $276 million in the arts and culture, with $60
million going to cultural infrastructure and $100 million to festivals that
bring in large numbers of tourists. In a time of crisis, this proposal sends a
clear message: the government recognizes that major events, specifically major
cultural events, are a sector of the economy that generate significant
economic returns in their own right.
    "By including the arts and culture in its policy for fighting the crisis,
the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister recognizes the role and
power of this sector for the national economy," says Gilbert Rozon, Chairman
of the Board of Directors of the Just For Laughs Group, who met with the
Minister of Heritage, the Right Honourable James Moore, in December. "We feel
that not only was the Minister listening, but he heard and understood what we
said. And I was happy to see that the Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of
State (Small Business and Tourism) and all the other ministers were able to
work together to include culture and major events in their action plan."
    Per Just For Laughs, this budget represents a great victory for major
cultural events, which finally are being considered not just as dream machines
but also as real economic engines that create jobs, generate revenues and
stimulate tourism. The world leader in all things funny hopes that the money
promised will be allocated quickly to the producers and festivals, who are
currently laying out their plans for this summer's events.

    About Just For Laughs

    Just For Laughs is active in many areas of entertainment production
including Festivals, Television, Theatre and Touring. Its inaugural Montreal
festival 26 years ago is now the world's largest and most prestigious comedy
event welcoming over 2 million people each summer. During its 26 years, the
Montreal Festival has featured some of the top comics in the world, including
Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle, Jon Stewart, Chris Rock, Ray Romano, Dane
Cook, John Cleese, Rowan Atkinson and Tim Allen. Each year, over 1,000
industry executives are drawn to Montreal for what is considered the hottest
breeding ground for new talent. In the spring of 2006, the company's French
division launched the  Festival Juste pour rire Nantes Atlantique in France
and in 2007, Just For Laughs launched the Just For Laughs Toronto Festival,
both to great success. The newest city added to the list is Chicago with Just
For Laughs: A Very Funny Festival set to debut this summer. The company also
successfully tours across the globe bringing some of the Festivals' best
talent to Canada, the U.S., Bermuda and Asia and has personal management
offices in Los Angeles, Paris, London and Montreal. Just For Laughs television
shows are seen in over 139 countries and on over 97 airlines around the world,
in the past have been seen on MTV, Showtime, HBO, BBC America, ABC and Fox in
the US. Just For Laughs is currently seen in Canada on CBC, as well as The
Comedy Network.

For further information:

For further information: Meredith Sharpe, Press Relations Manager Just
For Laughs, Just For Laughs, (514) 845-3155 ext. 2358,

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